Shaw Lane, Whiston, Liverpool 35
An inter-war church in a simplified Romanesque style with spare architectural detailing.
Whiston originated as a mining village on the edge of the Lancashire coalfield. It now has a predominantly 20th century and suburban character, merging with Rainhill and Prescot. The church of St Luke was opened for worship in mid-1940.
St Luke’s is built of brown brick with roof coverings of Welsh slate. The plan comprises a nave and sanctuary under one roof, aisles both sides and a northwest tower. The style of the building can perhaps best be described as stripped inter-war Romanesque. The west end wall is a fascia with a shallow gable set against the body of the church with much more steeply-pitched roof. In the centre of the fascia and reached up steps is the west door, set in a stone surround with a stone canopy; above the canopy is a tall strip window and on either side of the door are small-paned rectangular windows –the effect is domestic rather than ecclesiastical. The west ends of the flat- roofed aisles are blind. The aisles extend the full length of the church on both sides and are divided into bays by pilaster strips, with each bay having a pair of rectangular windows. The nave has clerestorey windows with round heads. The tower is austere, with two windows on the ground floor continuing those of the aisle and straight-headed slit openings in the upper part, which rises to a stepped top, with three blind niches on each face.
The interior is also quite plain. The wide nave has a western gallery over the entrance vestibule, low round-arched arcades opening into the side aisles and confessionals, plain plastered walls throughout, with the clear-glazed windows in plain reveals, and a wide segmental plaster ceiling with geometrical decoration. At the east end a wide round arch spanning the full width of the nave opens into the straight-ended sanctuary, which is lit by two small windows a side. The blind east wall is quite bare and the present sanctuary fittings appear to date from the reordering of 1987. The benches are probably original but there are no other fittings of note.
Architect: S. Stevenson Jones
Original Date: 1939
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed